It is possible to have a healthy marriage, but it takes hard work. Just like regular exercise and balanced nutrition can help keep your body healthy, there are things you can do to keep your marriage healthy. Our marriage therapist, Dr. Phillips, suggests these tips for strengthening your marital bond:
Spouses need time together to keep their union strong. Plan weekend activities and regularly scheduled date nights to keep the fire burning. If a romantic getaway is not an immediate option, then make a goal to work toward one. Spending time with your spouse will help you recognize your differences and negotiate the issues they might cause. Forget the quality vs. quantity adage. A healthy marriage requires both.
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, especially a romantic one. However, there often comes the point where conflict can intensify and become emotionally or physically dangerous. Resolving relationship problems requires understanding your problems and how to address them together. There are plenty of resources available to help you deal with conflict better as a couple. Consulting such resources can help you preserve feelings of security and safety within your marriage.
When a married couple fails to show one another respect, they often adopt negative habits. Research shows that put-downs and criticisms can significantly damage your marriage. You can strengthen your marital bond by treating your spouse like you want to be treated. Complimenting them is an easy and straightforward way to show them respect and help them feel appreciated. When you feel the temptation to complain to others about your spouse's flaws, ask yourself how you would feel if the tables were turned.
You can expose your marriage to more closeness and enjoyment with marital intimacy. However, it is crucial to remember that intimacy does not only mean having sex. Emotional intimacy is often overlooked and leaves a partner feeling neglected. For example, you can express emotional intimacy by creating a safe space for your spouse to share their emotions without the fear of ridicule or judgment. Educate yourself on the differences between physical and emotional intimacy and when to use each one appropriately. Offering your spouse one type of intimacy when they need the other can create further problems in your marriage.
Marriages thrive when they share common interests. That does not necessarily mean that each spouse will enjoy every activity, but it allows for more significant compromise and sharing. Doing things independently is not wrong, but shared interests and activities are crucial for a healthy union. Common interests might include playing cards, going on walks together, trying new foods, or cooking. The goal is to have things outside of the family that you can mutually enjoy.
Try these tips for keeping your marriage healthy. And if you need further support, our marriage therapist, Dr. Phillips, can help you build a stronger, more beneficial relationship. Contact us today for more information!
Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.